The rise and fall of cicada songs, the mist rising from murky brown swamps, torrents of rain so thick you can’t see more than a foot in front of you.
And curling up with an equally atmospheric book borrowed from my grandmother’s bookshelf; V.C. Andrews, or Victoria Holt.
Even when the sun came out, those summer days still felt very gothic and brooding. There was something about the noisy silence of the swamps and the quiet laziness spent slowly swinging in a hammock that felt both carefree and sinister.
When a cloud drifted across the too-bright sun and everything was thrown into a twilight shadow, I would get this strange sort of chill that would leave me with goosebumps.
On overcast days, the air was thick with humidity–and portent–as I waited for the storm. And, although the sun was hidden by the gathering clouds, the green of the plants and trees became even more vibrant.
Okay, yeah, that was probably a lot of purpling of prose, but reading the stack of E. Denise Billups’s books I got with the Amazon gift card (was it really two winter holidays ago?) took me right back to those gothic-infused tropical summers.
It was even more poignantly delicious to feel like a young child again, staying up way past bedtime to read by the glow of a night light.
For you all, E. Denise Billups’s books may not be as evocative of summer as they were for me, but they’re still perfect for indulgent cozy-in-the-dark-with-a-flashlight reading this January. (Or audio in the dark, even.) Heck, if your power’s actually out due to all the climate-change-fueled winter storming, so much the better to read by!
Here’s the books/short reads that were in my E. Denise Billups’s TBR stack (only 18,324 more TBR books to go!):
Keepers of the Gate: Twilight Ends (Book One)
And, if you want to follow up these author’s books with a spooky chaser from another author, check out As Fast as She Can by E.F. Schraeder.
Now, what’s on your gothic summer TBR wish list?